PEARSE LYONS DISTILLERY IRISH WHISKEY
Over the last 10 years, the international craft spirits movement has sparked an Irish Whiskey Renaissance, pushing the boundaries beyond what we imagined Irish Whiskey could ever achieve. In that span of time, Irish Whiskey has been the fastest growing premium spirit in the world, with sales increasing by over 300%. Just a few years ago there were only three distilleries on the entire island. Now there are eighteen in operation, with another sixteen in development.
As this new demand for Irish Whiskey has exploded, new producers are looking to balance the modern tastes of whiskey fans with their country’s rich whiskey history – and there is literally centuries of it. In 1995, Thomas Cahill famously argued in his book how the Irish saved civilization. Now there’s growing evidence that it was the Irish who first introduced whiskey to the world, with the earliest mention of whiskey in Ireland dating to 1405, nearly a century prior to the first evidence of production in Scotland.
By the 19th century, Dublin was the world’s epicenter for whiskey production, with brewers, distillers and coopers bustling in an area of the city known as The Liberties. In 1804, as many as 30 breweries and distilleries were in operation in a part of The Liberties known as the “Golden Triangle.” Yet as a result of war in Europe, rebellion in Ireland and Prohibition in the United States, most distilleries were forced out of business and the industry consolidated under the name ‘Irish Distillers.' By 1966, the remaining companies ceased operations entirely in Dublin.
A 21st century revival of the “Golden Triangle” has occurred that has contributed to Irish Whiskey’s Renaissance, driven by entrepreneur Dr. Pearse Lyons and his namesake distillery. Lyons, the first Irishman to receive a formal degree in brewing and distilling from the British School of Malting and Brewing, originally worked for Irish Distillers and was part of the design team that built the new Midleton Distillery in Cork. Taking his talents to the United States, Lyons opened the Town Branch Distillery in Kentucky, which has since become part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
However, with roots deeply imbedded in Dublin (five generations on his mother’s side, the Dunnes, operated a cooperage there until the 1980s), Lyons was inspired to produce Irish Whiskey with his purchase of St. James Church in 2013. Located 300 yards away from the Guinness Brewery, the church fell into disrepair and was closed for worship in 1963. After recently being declared a national monument, Lyons, along with his wife Deirdre, invested over $23 million into its restoration, including a fully operational distillery that opened its doors in 2017.
Bringing a pair of small-batch copper stills from Kentucky, named Mighty Molly and Little Lizzie, Lyons described his boutique distillery as producing “a new Irish Whiskey with a Kentucky flair.” With the unfortunate passing of Dr. Lyons last year, we were honored to acquire two exceptional but limited bottlings from this emblematic distillery, their Founder’s Choice and Distiller’s Choice. The first is a 12 Year Single Malt, one of the last to be hand selected by Lyons himself, and the second is a blend of 7 different, hand selected grain and malt whiskies, aged predominantly in bourbon and sherry barrels for 4-9 years (see tasting notes below). With 15% off and under $100 for the 2-pack, we will sell out. Don’t miss your chance to experience the Irish Whiskey Renaissance!
*Offer is NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with the items estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Spring 2019. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in AZ, CO, MN, NC, NM, NV, NY, TN, VA, WA, WI and limited stores in GA. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Tuesday, January 22, 2019.